Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Make A Suet Log For Better Photographs

While we’re on the subject of cheap, effective, easy to make feeder stands, I wanted to pass along one of my favorite perches for Woodpeckers (and loads of other birds). While the previous stand I blogged about was cheap (less than $20 - link on the right side of the page), this one is darned near free! Below is a wide-shot of the feeder:
As you can imagine, it doesn’t take a degree in feeder-building to construct this thing. EVERYTHING you need to build this is as follows:

      o  1 log about 3 feet long with a diameter of 4 or 5 inches
      o  1 scrap piece of 2x12 board maybe 2 feet long or a similar piece of plywood
      o  2 decent sized nails
      o  Hammer
      o  Hand Drill with 1/4 inch and 1 inch drill bits
      o  Suet or Peanut Butter

      o  2 Cans of Beer (optional - see following paragraph)

If you don’t have these larger drill bits – DON’T BUY THEM! Your next door neighbor has them, just borrow them and share the beer. The diameter of the holes you use isn’t terribly important. Larger or smaller is fine:

Not to insult your intelligence, but here’s what you do with the above pile of stuff. Nail the log to the board - go crazy and use both nails. I use a smallish log for this purpose because it's easier to move around the yard. Drill a 1/4 inch diameter about an inch deep in the top of the log. Cram it full of peanut butter or suet (that's the brown muck in the middle):
Drill a 1 inch diameter hole on the side of the log about an inch deep and about 6 inches from the top. Cram it full of peanut butter or suet too:

Place the setup near your regular feeders for a day or two so that the woodpeckers learn how to use it. Once they figure it out, they will check it out often for goodies.

I like to position the holes so that they are just out of sight of the camera. This also puts the birds at the perfect angle for photos. I place the feeder where the light is good and the background is nice. Below is a focused shot of the background I used for most of the shots below which makes a nice, colorful background when it’s out of focus:

When you put this device near other feeders, all sorts of birds that aren’t looking for peanut butter or suet will use the top for a perch going to or from someplace else. Here's some of the shots - Downy Woodpecker (the 1 inch hole is in front of the bird, just out of sight):
Hairy Woodpecker:
Red-bellied Woodpecker on the top hole:

White-breasted Nuthatch (the hole with peanut butter is near the tail):
Tufted Titmouse:
Bluebird using the top for other purposes (eating an insect):


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